Oddball Aristocrat’s Art Sells; 37 MPH Car Priced $2.5 Million

De Dion
An 1884 steam driven De Dion. Capable of a top speed of 37 mph, the car was sold by RM Auctions in a classic car sale in Hershey, PA, on Oct. 7. The car fetched $4.6 million, more than double the catalog estimate and is world record for an early motor car at auction. Photographer: Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions via Bloomberg

The art collection of a Scottish aristocrat who threw parties for royalty and rock stars raised $1.7 million at an auction in London.

Colin Tennant, who died last year, was the former owner of the island of Mustique in the Caribbean. Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Princess Margaret, sister of the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth, were regular visitors during the 1960s and 1970s, before he sold up and moved, with his pet elephant, to an Indian-style home on nearby St. Lucia in 1992. All but four of the 225 lots from “Beau House” found buyers, auction house Bonhams said yesterday.

A gold pendant from the treasury of the 18th-century Indian ruler Tipu Sultan, set with a 38-carat emerald, fetched the top price of 217,250 pounds, beating an estimate of 80,000 pounds ($124,850) to 120,000 pounds.

Tennant’s 19th-century Indian silver-covered wood bed will be heading back to Mustique. It was bought for 51,560 pounds by a private individual who has refurbished a house on the island.

Robert Mapplethorpe photographs of the princess and Mick and Bianca Jagger at an Indian costume party for Tennant’s 50th birthday on Mustique in 1976, sold for 938 pounds and 1,188 pounds each. A suggestively shaped coco de mer fruit that model Jerry Hall gave him on his 60th birthday fetched 1,125 pounds.

Tennant, who inherited the title Lord Glenconner, died aged 83. After his wild costume parties, he attracted headlines in old age by leading a reclusive life and taking up limbo dancing. He left Beau House to Kent Adonai, his locally born servant and elephant keeper. The auction’s proceeds of 1.1 million pounds will benefit the Glenconner Estate, said Bonhams.

De Dion Sale

The world’s oldest running automobile is estimated to sell for as much as $2.5 million at an auction in Pennsylvania.

The steam-driven 1884 De Dion, capable of 37 miles per hour on a straight, is the most highly valued of 115 cars being offered by RM Auctions at Hershey on Oct. 6-7.

The four-seater is being sold by the estate of the Texas-based collector John O’Quinn, who died in 2009. It was originally built for the French entrepreneur the Comte de Dion by the engineers Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux.

Named “La Marquise” after the count’s mother, the quadricycle has only had four owners. It was restored in the late 1980s by the U.K. veteran car enthusiast Tim Moore who raced it four times in the annual London-to-Brighton run. Moore sold the vehicle in 2007.

Wine Collection

A collection of more than 7,200 bottles of Bordeaux, valued at between 2.1 million pounds and 2.6 million pounds, will test Asia’s evolving taste for prestige French wines at an auction in London next month.

Sotheby’s Oct. 26-27 offering from an unidentified European private cellar contains a comprehensive range of First Growth Bordeaux from 1955 to 2004, often in large formats. The event’s 1,475 lots include 240 imperials, each equivalent to eight standard bottles.

The collection’s vintages were bought “en primeur” and kept in state-of-the-art storage conditions, said the New York- based auction house. An imperial of 1986 Lafite, currently Bordeaux’s most-prized chateau, is valued at as much as 11,000 pounds, while a standard dozen-bottle case of the same vintage is priced at 14,000 pounds to 17,000 pounds.

Economic weakness has cooled Asian demand for Lafite and other trophy-label Bordeaux. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 index, tracking daily price movements of the 10 most recent vintages of Bordeaux’s five First Growth chateaux, declined to 388.91 on Sept. 27 from 445.49 points on July 1. The London-based index, based on trade sales, rose 136.67 points to 401.11 last year.

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

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